Thinking of homeschooling? We are preparing a two-part guide of questions
you should ask yourself before you make the decision to homeschool your
children. You can see the first part of the guide
here. Homeschool is a very challenging task for parents to take on, but it
can be extremely rewarding too.
What are your goals for homeschooling?
Stating your goals for your homeschooling practice will mean that you have
a direction and path to follow. Some goals you may want to consider include
exceeding your local requirements for curriculum, spending more time with
your children, and giving your children the individualized, personal instruction
they need to excel.
How will you deal with detractors?
While most parents will be curious as to why you chose to homeschool or
how you manage to get everything done in a day, others will feel defensive
about their decision to send their children to schools and yet others
will disagree strongly with your decision to homeschool. It’s helpful
to think about how you will answer criticism or curiosity before you set
out on a homeschooling course.
Dealing with opposition from other parents, friends and family members
with understanding and patience will make the transition easier for you
and your children.
What about socialization?
One of the biggest concerns for most people is that their children will
become isolated by homeschooling and they won’t learn to socialize
properly. This is really up to the family and I know some homeschooled
children who are far more sociable and involved in their communities than
their school-going counterparts.
Start by finding other homeschooling groups that share your ideas and values
and join them. Ensure that your children are encouraged to participate
in after-school activities at clubs, and encourage dance, art, music and
other interests. There are all sorts of sports clubs and activities where
they can meet other children and engage in social activities.
When should you take your children out of school?
If your children are already in school, make a timetable to take them out
when it will be the least disruptive for them. Perhaps at the end of the
academic year or at the end of a semester will suit you or when you feel
organized and ready.
How long will you homeschool?
This is a question that is best left open to discussion. Try to give yourself
a solid year of homeschooling as it really does take a long time to settle
in and adjust. Then, take it either year by year or semester by semester.
Circumstances change and your children’s needs may change too, so
keep the lines of communication open and be flexible enough to adjust
so that you are always doing what is best for your children.